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D7 Sleeve Gear
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Sponge
Lancashire (A chip shop somewhere near Preston)
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June 6, 2020 - 7:42 pm
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My trail bike is a B175 rolling chassis with a D7 engine in it.  Why is a long story and I will not bore you with it.  The engine is a 1959 unit that had its first rebuild about 24 years ago, at that point the crankcases had never been split - it still had a std bore and its original WIPAC generator ignition system.   

Although the Wipac S55 Genimag works perfectly (and still does),  I fitted a 'Brown' Atom contactless ignition unit out of curiosity to see how it ran and was pretty impressed but although the bike does not get used much I have always had concerns that its ignition timing was slightly out - causing over heating and pre-ignition etc. The bike also has the ability to backfire and start running backwards - perfectly. My concerns are, therfore,  manifested because I cannot set the timing and cannot quite get my head around how the Atom unit works.    

So I have finally bitten the bullet and decided to get rid of the Atom ( already spoken for by Cocorico !!) unit and upgrade the bike to a CDI system.  I bought the electrex world unit several years ago after a recommendation from Nick Bramley who was speaking very highly of them - my current preference would be a Bones unit but a bird in the hand etc etc. 

I thought I would document the upgrade here,  just in case anybody is interested.  My intent is to keep the original Wipac Generator because it is in perfect condition and if I ever sell the bike then no doubt its new owner might appreciate the originality.     

Whilst in the clutch cover - and having removed the Wipac flywheel I decided to check the gearbox sprocket and was surprised to see a lot of black oil around that area. Not chain wax .....SANY0961.JPGSANY0962.JPGbut oil.  Having removed the sprocket it was not difficult to diagnose the problem - the sleeve gear in the final drive pinion has worn, lots of free play and the oil is seeping out along the mainshaft.  My understanding is that because the bike is a trail bike there is more stress on the gearbox sprocket due to the increased articulation of the swinging arm when off road etc, this has caused the sleeve gear to wear. Still 24 years is pretty good for a sleeve gear.   So that puts a bit of a stopper on things for the time being - unless somebody knows another way..... it will be engine out and a full strip down to remove the mainshaft and pinion to get new bushes pressed in and reamed to size. 

That's going to take a little while, and knowing me I will fit new oil seals and check all the tolerances whilst the little engine is in pieces.  So in the interim I will concentrate on fitting the regulator and CDI coil etc and upgrading the electrics to 12V    I have added a few photographs 

Sponge

 

                 

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N.D.James
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June 6, 2020 - 10:37 pm
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Interested in this as I been looking at the did ignition but as the d7 runs with the original points I don't really want to mess with it at the moment and can't justify the money as it aint broke 

Nathan 

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Sponge
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June 8, 2020 - 10:39 am
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My advise would be to leave well alone unless your ignition is failing or playing up. For me this started as a simple job, it has now turned into a much larger engineering challenge.  However I think it might be worth it in the end.   

I have managed to softly extract the final drive pinion without removing, stripping or damaging the engine - see my other thread on this forum. Getting it all back in that way might be a challenge though - I will report.  

Now waiting for some bushes to arrive by mail. 

Sponge 

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N.D.James
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June 8, 2020 - 1:07 pm
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In that case i will stop looking at the cdi kits 

Nice to know that saves a bit of work breaking the engine down 

Nathan 

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Sponge
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June 8, 2020 - 3:53 pm
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I originally fitted the Atom unit because in the 1990s it was cheaper than buying a new set of points and a condenser.  I guess that if I put the WIPAC ignition generator unit back in and re-fitted the points, cam and condenser and timed it up it would be fine but I did purchase this Electrex World unit some years ago and it is time I fitted it to something.    So I am only doing this because I have got a CDI unit available. Hence my advise to you not to bother unless you are having problems.  Good, useable WIPAC units are virtually unobtainable nowadays. 

Whatever ignition system I use  would still have had to attend to the sleeve gear bushes though - that's a must. 

I have a D1 with a Bones unit in it - and it flies. It is very well engineered and never misses a beat.  I like the Bones unit because you don't have to strip down a Wipac stator to convert it. On the Electrex world unit you have to dismantle the Stator, extract the spider and fit the new coils to the original WIPAC stator plate.  Not the end of the world but I suspect putting it all back together would be much more difficult that taking it all apart.  Lucky I had a spare stator plate knocking around so my good working WIPAC unit is still intact and useable if ever I need it.       

 

Sponge        

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N.D.James
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June 8, 2020 - 5:29 pm
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Defianatly keep that in mind as the only thing that i have changed is the coil and cleaned the points 

The points were fitted in 64 just before my grandad took it off the road and still work fine 

If they do cause me any bother i will look into a bones kit 

 

As for performance point of view is there a noticable difference? 

 

Nathan 

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Sponge
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June 9, 2020 - 8:27 am
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Having not yet run an Electrex world kit on a D1 (or any other bike), all I can say is that the Bones kit runs very clean and even right up the rev range so the bike is more useable and a pleasure to ride on the roads around here.  It certainly feels faster and more precise than the standard Wipac set up (which comes with built in points bounce - rogue sparking and short circuits - lack of auto advance/retard etc ).    

I have another D7 with a Rex Caunt CDI unit in it and I cannot fault it.  It is fine - very revvy 

Sponge

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N.D.James
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June 9, 2020 - 3:02 pm
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Thanks sponge thats very helpful 

Might think about it when these start playing up 

Nathan 

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Sponge
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June 10, 2020 - 10:36 am
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So here is the engine, still in-situ with the top gear pinion and sleeve gear withdrawn.  I rigged up a three-legged puller against an old sprocket and pulled it out against the gearbox mainshaft. It came out handsomely.   I am just waiting for some sleeve gear bushes to be delivered and I will then fit, ream out and try to re-assemble it all as seen.   I am nervous that I have to get these gears to mesh as I drive it all back into the casing with a soft drift,   or I risk damaging the gears themselves and seeing as this is a very good gearbox, that works perfectly, I don't want to take any risk.  Pinion_removed_compressed.JPGSleeve-Gear_compressed.JPG

Onwards and upwards

Sponge

 

  

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N.D.James
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June 10, 2020 - 1:29 pm
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Good effort saves a bit of work striping it all if theres no need 

Looking good 

 

Nathan

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Number6
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June 11, 2020 - 5:07 pm
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Watching. http://livinginthepast-audioweb.co.uk/imagex/misc/icon_lurker.gif

Mike H --

Murphy's 4th law of motion states that any small object that is accidentally dropped will immediately hide itself under a larger object.

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Sponge
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June 12, 2020 - 11:31 am
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Conscious that this thread is supposed to be about an electronic ignition upgrade but has wandered into the realms of sleeve gear bushes etc.

By way of explanation : as I was stripping out the OEM WIPAC ignition system I decided to clean out the gearbox sprocket cavity and check that all was well in there. I am glad that I did because I found some unwanted play in the sleeve gear bushes and a strange sideplate wear on the gearbox sprocket. This would also explain the strange vibration in top gear that I noted last time I rode the bike.  

Hence the reason why this thread has migrated into bushes, reamers, and bearing pullers. 

SITREP: Everthing for the CDI conversion is to hand and waiting. A new Mottobatt AGM battery is fully charged and I am just waiting for some new sleeve gear bushes to be delivered. Until then, all work stops on that particular bike. 

Also - stand by for a re-wire, a new headlamp switch and a 12 volt conversion to bring in the opportunities offered by the new electronic ignition. 

I have other projects that need attention but knowing myself, as I do, I am reluctant to start on another repair/upgrade project until this one is finished - otherwise I end up with two unfinished projects and so on and so on......

Wait out.      

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Stoo63
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June 12, 2020 - 11:36 am
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I like your approach, Sponge. Finish one job then start another; rather than "multitasking" which I believe we "men" are incapable of. Decades of experience only proves to me that the miraculous "multitasking" means starting 7 jobs and finishing none of them until someone comes along and tidies them up one-at-a-time 🙂

 '55 D3 Battery; '58 Square Four (project); '59 D1 direct lighting plunger; '59 Tiger Cub; '60 5TA;  '76 FS1-E; '97 Honda Sky SGX50.

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Sponge
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June 12, 2020 - 12:03 pm
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Hear hear.....Bravo. 

Another old military saying: "Get one thing right ......once".  

One thing at a time keeps me focussed - I have found it is more efficient and quicker that way. At least for me anyway. 

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N.D.James
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June 12, 2020 - 1:42 pm
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Sponge said
Hear hear.....Bravo. 

Another old military saying: "Get one thing right ......once".  

One thing at a time keeps me focussed - I have found it is more efficient and quicker that way. At least for me anyway.   

I can relate to that 👍

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Sponge
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June 16, 2020 - 4:50 pm
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SITREP

I did a trial run with re-fitting the pinion through gearbox sprocket the bearing hole. I found that it is highly do-able but you need to jiggle the pinion to get it to mesh with the layshaft gear. Once that is in place it just slides in.  Job is looking good........or so I thought.  

Having never renewed a set of sleeve gear bushes before I was anticipating learning opportunities ( AKA «censored»-ups ) so I ordered two sets of sleeve gear bushes from Rex Caunt.  I collapsed the old sleeve gear bushes with a hacksaw and pressed them out.  Cleaned everything up spotless. 

Once they arrived I put the new bushes in the freezer overnight and tickled the pinion up with the heat ray gun until it was spitting then pressed the new bushes in with the bench vice.   I still needed an old fork stanchion to get sufficient leverage to press them in.  

Once fitted I reamed them out to a perfect fit on the mainshaft, feeling very smug and about to put the kettle on then realised that I had not lined any of the three lubrication holes in the pinion with the oil hole in the new bush.  So then trying to be clever about it I got a very small diameter HSS drill bit and decided to drill through the pinion oil holes into the back of the bush and then re-ream to size using the drill press.  Just like the factory used to do.  'No plan survives contact with the workbench' and not fully realising that the lube holes are not drilled square to the axis of the pinion and are also tapered I managed to get the drill bit stuck and it snapped off in the hole.   Nothing would shift it so.........

Out with the hacksaw again - collapse the new (perfect) bushes and clean it all up.  I devised and constructed a tool - using a small nail, a piece of plastic and a large screwdriver to force out the broken drill bit.  Lucky that worked but it was pretty well stuck and made a strange squeeking noise as it extracted.   

Start again with the same procedure - pressed in the spare bushes, properly aligned with the oil holes this time -  and allowed it all to cool before deploying the adjustable reamer for a series of very small scrapes - guess what - the top collar on the reamer broke as I was trying to slacken it off - what a faff, didn't even get the first scrape started.  I am now awaiting a delivery from Tracey Tools for a new adjustable reamer 15/32 to 17/32 size.   Once that arrives we can move on.  

At some point I will get around to fitting the electronic ignition system 

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N.D.James
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June 17, 2020 - 9:56 am
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Looks like it all going well so far 👍👍

Nice to see its not just me 

Every job is never as straight forward as it should be 

 

Nathan

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Sponge
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June 17, 2020 - 11:39 am
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You can say that again - I thought I had mastered most Bantam related tasks, but I suppose I am happy to say that I am well and truely back in the learning curve here. 

It would appear that the sleeve gear bushes wore out because the oil drip holes in the pinion were clogged up with sludge - this may be because the engine was left hanging around for many years with oil in it  - I don't know...... but I wager that not many people think to check those holes when they do a rebuild ?   When I was cleaning it all up, after removing the original bushes I had to poke the pellets of sludge out with a thin wire then clean through with WD40 and a thin pipe cleaner. It was pretty obvious that the sleeve gear had been running without enough lubrication for a while until it had worn and then oil was getting in ( and out) via the free play.    

Timewise it would have been easier, and quicker, to have removed the engine, taken it apart and removed the gearbox mainshaft and pinion and taken it to my local engineering workshop who could have turned the new sleeve gear bushes around in a couple of hours.  By now the engine would be back in and running and possibly job finished.    

However, for the sake of science, it will be nice if I can confirm that it is possible to complete this task without removing and stripping the engine.

Onwards and upwards

Sponge

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N.D.James
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June 18, 2020 - 7:55 am
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It is good to see someone attempting it and for future reference

Good job sponge

 

Nathan  

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Sponge
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June 19, 2020 - 10:30 am
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SITREP - SUCCESS 

BLUF (bottom line up front) - It is possible to replace the final drive pinion and sleeve gear without removing the engine. But be careful.     

Apart from the usual workshop tools you will need a 3 legged puller, a drift, an old gearbox bearing, loctite, a strong bench vice ( or a press) and a reamer.    

A new 15/16 - 17/16 reamer arrived in the mail yesterday and within an hour, taking a succession of very thin scrapes, I had finished off reaming out the new sleeve gear bushes to a good sliding fit. 

The final drive pinion then slipped easily back into the cases through the hole. I had to jiggle it a bit to get it into mesh with the layshaft gear but it went in without a struggle.   

I then cleaned all the surfaces up with white spirit and meths and applied some loctite to the edges of the hole before inserting the bearing. I had to drift it in using an old bearing and a soft drift - it also went in without too much trouble. Bike into neutral and the gearbox is spinning nicely with no stiffness or strange noises. 

I then rebuilt the oil seal holder assembly with new gaskets and a new oil seal and fitted a 14T gearbox sprocket  ( Thinking that whilst I was in there I may as well replace the original sprocket that had worn in funny patterns due to the play in the sleeve gear.  

All tightened up and re-assembled - leaving the loctite to cure for 24hours at least - I can now refill the gearbox with oil (to check for leaks) and then start to consider the Electrex-World Ignition upgrade. 

Happy days 

Sponge

  SANY0970_comp.JPGSANY0971.JPG

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